Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

nathanm

Cooking with Liquid Nitrogen

Recommended Posts

Who is cooking with liquid nitrogen? What are you doing with it? This is a topic that is at the cutting edge of culinary technique, but there is very little information out there about it.

Liquid nitrogen is a clear liquid (looks just like water) but it is extremely cold - 320F / -196 C. It has been used scientifically for over 100 years, and has many industrial uses. Most people abbreviate it LN2, because N2 (with 2 as a subscript) is nitrogen molecule in the air.

A number of chefs are using LN2 in various ways. LN2 ice cream has been around for many years as a science demonsration, and there are many web sites about it such as this one. If you search for "liquid nitrogen" and "ice cream" you get 16,000 hits on Google so this is not exactly unknown. Heston Blumenthal likes to point out that the first reference to LN2 ice cream was in the 19th century. However, apart from the cool presentation there are a lot of other (and probably better) ways to make ice cream.

LN2 can be bought at welding and medical supply places. It is pretty cheap - $0.20 to $0.25 per liter. That is less than $1 a gallon - cheaper than milk, gasoline, or bottled water. The only expensive part is that you need a large thermos - called a Dewar to store it, and these can run $500 to $1000. However, they do exist on eBay for less.

Because of the intense cold, LN2 is dangerous. However, we need to put that in perspective - boiling water is dangerous too, and a hot oil in a deep fryer is also dangerous. Realistically speaking, LN2 is no more dangerous than these.

Heston Blumenthal serves an amuse bouche that is a small ball of foam frozen with liquid nitogen at tableside. Dani Garcia , until recently at Tragabuches in Ronda also cooks with it and has a short chapter in his cookbook on it (in Spanish).

This web articlementions a couple other chefs using it. Ferran Adria of El Bulli has spoken publically about making an LN2 chilled version of a plancha - the cold version of a hot griddle. Instead of heating food in contact with the griddle it would be chilled.

I will confess that I have not used LN2 yet for cooking myself, but did use it in graduate school scientifically. I'm about to gear up to trying some LN2 cusine, but I thought I'd canvas eGullet first to see who else is into it, and whether there are any practical ideas, tips etc out there.


Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I was in grad school (and when it was plentiful) I used liquid nitrogen a couple of times to make a vodka granite (vodka, simple syrup, cold - not particularly good) and vodka ice cubes. Interesting, but at the time that was about it. The stuff gave quite the kick, especially when people would suck on the ice cubes after they had finished their drinks.

You'd want to use the transport dewar and not draw N2 from the tank used to store cell lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heston Blumenthal likes to point out that the first reference to  LN2 ice cream was in the 19th century.  However, apart from the cool presentation there are a lot of other (and probably better) ways to make ice cream.

Actually, Ive heard that LN2 is the best way to make ice cream, because the super-rapid freezing insures a very small crystal size and thus a super smooth, creamy texture.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LN2 ice cream is very good, but it is unclear that it is better than excellent freshly made ice cream right out of the machine (conventional or pacojet) which also has small crystals.

LN2 is a great presentation for making ice cream if done as a demo, or done tableside - lots of drama, sort of like doing something flambe at the table just cold instead of hot. But I am skeptical that there is a reason to do it apart from the fact that it is a dramatic demonstration.

As to huffing it.....well you ARE huffing it right now! About 78% of the atmosphere is N2. Nitrous oxide is a very different issue - that does cause euphoria (laughing gas), but that is a DIFFERENT gas altogether.


Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, Ive heard that LN2 is the best way to make ice cream, because the super-rapid freezing insures a very small crystal size and thus a super smooth, creamy texture.

I'm thinking that texture is the key here. Sorry that I can't contribute any first-hand experience. If Ferran Adrià is excited about his N2 "plancha", I'm excited too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, Ive heard that LN2 is the best way to make ice cream, because the super-rapid freezing insures a very small crystal size and thus a super smooth, creamy texture.

I'm thinking that texture is the key here. Sorry that I can't contribute any first-hand experience. If Ferran Adrià is excited about his N2 "plancha", I'm excited too!

I have actually tried ice cream made with LN, called 'Dippin' Dots.' They were very good. I didnt realize you could buy small quantities of this stuff, so there is a good chance I might actually try to make some myself.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LN2 is a great presentation for making ice cream if done as a demo, or done tableside - lots of drama, sort of like doing something flambe at the table just cold instead of hot.  But I am skeptical that there is a reason to do it apart from the fact that it is a dramatic demonstration.

Are you skeptical that crystal size is related to smoothness of ice cream? Are you skeptical that crystal size is related to rapidity of freezing? Are you aware of any other method that takes your ice cream base from room temp to frozen in 30 seconds? It seems to me that there is a very obvious reason to do it apart from drama.

There is an interesting article from 2002 Scientific American on this. The author recounts his experience with LN ice cream thus:

We mixed up a standard ice cream recipe calling for two quarts of cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flavoring. (Just about any ice cream recipe and flavor will work.) Then, working in a well-ventilated area (lest the nitrogen displace oxygen from the air) and with due regard for the ability of liquid nitrogen to freeze body parts solid, we gently folded about two liters of nitrogen syrup directly into the cream, much as you would fold in egg whites.

The result, literally 30 seconds later, was a half-gallon of the best ice cream I'd ever tasted. The secret is in the rapid freezing. When cream is frozen by liquid nitrogen at –196°C, the ice crystals that give bad ice cream its grainy texture have no chance to form. Instead you get microcrystalline ice cream that is supremely smooth, creamy and light in texture. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.

Behold the smooth, sweet powers of liquid N (Liquid nitrogen ice cream! Yum!)


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have actually tried ice cream made with LN, called 'Dippin' Dots.' They were very good. I didnt realize you could buy small quantities of this stuff, so there is a good chance I might actually try to make some myself.

I've had the "Dippin' Dots" at a food court in a Texas mall - My impression was that the limiting factor was the quality of the ingredients, not the technique. I don't doubt that in the hands of a true master the liquid-nitrogen ice cream could be sublime.

The "plancha" that so enthuses Ferran is a different matter. Forming a skin on the product via extreme freezing temperatures is somewhat unexplored territory - though Adrià has apparently done some research at the "Taller". Several eG members have scored reservations at El Bulli, so perhaps we'll get some reports about the success of the "plancha" later in the season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought that using liquid nitrogen when making ice cream was somewhat goofy. It's great the people try new ways by I still wouldn't do it.

Compressed N2 is used widely as is compressed "air" to cool surfaces for products to set up like chocolate and sugar molds. Sometimes marble is cooled in this way before tabliering tempered chocolate. Compressed air is and excellent source for use in sculptures or attatchments when you need to cool two pieces together relatively quickly without holding them in place for 20 minutes, ha.

You are right about liquid nitrogen not being any more dangerous than a sizzling hot pan because the reverse temperature at those extremes do exactly the same thing as high temperatures which is destroying your cellular structure. It actually feels the same and leaves similar scarring, I actually had a couple.

The best thing about liquid nitrogen I think is it doesn't contribute anything to a product accept temperature. Considering air is 40% nitrogen it just heats up and evaporates within a couple of minutes leaving a product cold and uncorrupt flavor and texture wise.

I still thinks its kind of goofy, like an over done science project.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I dont have enough imagination, but I just cant see what's so goofy about producing great ice cream from a base in 30 seconds. In comparison, an ice cream machine looks goofy and overly laborious.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is the resultant ice cream not frozen solid? I like my ice cream soft and pliable, though not melted.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be entirely a matter of how much nitrogen you use. If you use too little, your ice cream would be too soft, if you use too much it would be too hard. There would be an optimum ratio of base to nitrogen (which I dont know).


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't tried making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. But if you want to try something else with food and liquid nitrogen that kids always go wild for: get yourself a bit of the cold stuff in a dewar with fairly low sides, and a bag of cheez puffs. (Not the ones like crunchy cheetos, for this you need the ones that are very puffy...as far as I'm concerned, the only good use for the puffy kind. :smile:) Dip a cheez puff into the liquid nitrogen, and hold it there just until it gets good and cold. Use a big cheez puff, so you have something left to hold! Then pull the cheez puff out, and put it into your mouth. Hold it there, maybe chew on it a little bit. Voila: you've become a steam-breathing dragon!

The puffy cheez puffs are mostly air, which warms up pretty fast, so you're in no danger of freezing your mouth. If you chew on it, it feels about like chewing ice cream: definitely cold, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable. It's a great trick, especially for Halloween costume parties.

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would be entirely a matter of how much nitrogen you use. If you use too little, your ice cream would be too soft, if you use too much it would be too hard. There would be an optimum ratio of base to nitrogen (which I dont know).

Makes sense. A recipe is important.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My skepticism about LN2 ice cream being the best is that I wonder if the people who say that have had quality ice cream, made fresh by a great pastry chef. Ice cream that you get from a carton at the supermarket, or from an ice cream parlor, is just not the same thing.


Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember observing incredible dining room drama 10 or 15 times a night at Andre Daguin's Hotel de France in Auch back in the late 70's. An octogenarian named Rosalie (I could be wrong about her name) would roll out a cart and on it was a canister of liquid nitrogen and the stuff needed to make ice cream. She would do it tableside. Sounds and wisps of whatever went up in the air to make a memorable finale to a meal.


“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My skepticism about LN2 ice cream being the best is that I wonder if the people who say that have had quality ice cream, made fresh by a great pastry chef.  Ice cream that you get from a carton at the supermarket, or from an ice cream parlor, is just not the same thing.

Yeah, ice-cream made by a french pastry chef would probably be better than generic LN2 ice-cream but ice-cream made by a FPC with LN2 would also undoubtably be better than normal FPC ice-cream.

LN2 is a technique, not an ingredient. The quality of the ice-cream you get out is still going to be dependant on the quality of the ingredients you put in but LN2 ice-cream just forms smaller ice-crystals.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'Plancha' that Adria is experimenting with reversing techniques on is, from what I've been reading, a 'Teppenyaki' grill, which they're using LN2 with.

artisanbaker, I would LOVE to see that Adria sorbet photo!


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, some physicist friends and I just made some ice cream here in lab. The base was made from cream, half and half, sugar, natural cocoa, and chocolate syrup. I can't give you proportions because the only ingredients that were actually measured were the dairy products, since they came in and were used in increments of their specific-volume containers.

Anyway, we mixed up the stuff in a big metal bowl with a wooden spoon, tasting along the way and adding more chocolate syrup and cocoa along the way until we got something that tasted chocolatey enough but a little too sweet.

Then, one person stirred the mix while another poured the liquid nitrogen in, a little bit at a time. As it went in, it bubbled like mad (as you'd expect) and steam obscured the surface. The volume of mixture increased noticeably over the process. We'd also get some lumpiness, which would subside as the rest of the liquid transferred its heat into the frozen lumps. After a good bit of stirring (and liquid nitrogen) the ice cream thickened to about the texture of soft-serve. We kept on going, and eventually got a homogeneous mixture too thick to stir with our wooden spoon. At this point we waited a little bit for it to warm up, scooped it into our bowls, waited a little bit longer, and then ate.

My verdict: Very smooth and creamy. The most even-textured ice cream I've eaten in a while: no large crystals of anything anywhere. Could have used some more chocolate flavor.

I don't know that I'd go out of my way to do it again, unless I were trying to impress someone or I had extra liquid nitrogen to blow. But it was yummy!

MelissaH

  • Like 1

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we are using ln2 on a daily basis, we have been using it for about 6 months and now we can't live without it in the kitchen.......we have produced ice cream that is hot and cold at the same time using the ln2.......cold on the outside and hot on the inside.......we also are doing cocktails spheres that are liquid in the center and frozen on the outside........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ate at ElBulli this week, and there were several terrific LN2 courses.


Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have been cooking with LN2 a lot the last several weeks - the results are very interesting.

The most popular thing with people I have forced this on is flavored whipped cream, shot out of an ISI cream whipper into LN2, then almost immediately removed and served. Crisp and hard on the outside and cream on the inside. If you eat it quickly, what looks like smoke comes out your mouth and nostrils.

Olive oil freezes solid. If you spray it in, you get a crystalline olive oil powder.

Thick liquids can be dropped, drop-by-drop and it will freeze into little balls.

This stuff is fun to play with - although you need a lot of safety precautions so "play" is perhaps not quite the right word.


Nathan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Porthos
      I picked up enough boneless short ribs to make 3 meals for my Sweetie and me. One meal will be pan-braised tonight. One has been vacuum-sealed and is in the freezer. My question is about seasoning, sealing, freezing, then defrosting and cooking at a later date. I'd like to season and seal the 3rd meal's worth. Can I use a dry rub on the meat, then seal, freeze, and cook at a later date? Does anyone else do this?
    • By newchef
      So I've now found myself at the water's edge of Modernist Cuisine.  Specifically, using sodium citrate for emulsifying all kinds of cheeses.  What I'm after is making an emulsified Parmesan sauce as well as another emulsified cheese sauce (most likely using Cheddar or Colby) that I can freeze and use later.  I'm a single guy and am no stranger of tweaking recipes for freezing but I haven't done it for modernist stuff yet.  I'd love to make a big batch of cheese sauce, freeze it into ice cubes for up to 3 months or so, and then take a few cubes out to thaw on a weeknight and toss with pasta, drizzle over veggies, etc.
       
      I looked at the modernist cuisine FAQ and saw this specific post about the cheese sauce that is "probably" freeze-able because it uses something called carageenan.  Has anyone been able to freeze sauce and keep it frozen for, say, a few months?  And not have to use carageenan?
       
      Thanks!
    • By WackGet
      Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler.
       
      Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, I figured I'd find pretty comprehensive instructions for their use on the web - but I can't.
       
      I'm not a stranger to food science but nor am I a chemist. I understand that emulsifiers are at least sometimes prepared by pre-mixing them into a (heated?) liquid or fat and then using the resulting solution in the actual recipe, which may explain why a lot of commercial emulsifier mixtures are packages as tubes of gel or paste. I've also checked several industry-level textbooks about emulsifiers and while they are fantastic for in-depth explanations of the chemistry behind each emulsifier, they do not (as you might imagine) provide guidance on how a lowly baker or cook would actually use a powdered form.
       
      So does anyone know how to prepare and use a dry powdered form of any of the following in a real recipe?
       
      Specifically I am most interested in enhancing baked goods and adding stability to sauces, but would also like to know how to use them for other processes such as sausage-making too.
      E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E481 Sodium stearoyl lactylate E482 Calcium stearoyl lactylate E472e DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides)
        Thanks.
    • By mjbarnard
      I cooked two turkey breasts sous vide. This year had access to the Meater+ thermometer probe which I managed to vacuum seal in the bag without difficulty (it is small). Since it works wirelessly I was able to monitor and it records the internal temperatures at the thickest part of the breast.
      I thought the results were interesting. I cooked at 60C for 8 hours. I have always used https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-better-way-to-turkey-cook-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever which gives long cooking times at lower temperature. I have found that as according to this page https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sous-vide-turkey-breast-crispy-skin-recipe-thanksgiving.html that 55C gives turkey which is just a little too pink for most tastes. Over the last few years have increased the temperature up to 59/60 and I find it perfect - very moist and tender, but pale not pink.
      See attached images. I changed my mind a couple of times and started at 58 then 60 then 59 again, so ignore the slight variations. The thing I found interesting was that the thickest part (of a large breast) reached 55C in around 1 hour 40 mins and target of 59 in 2 hours 30 mins. Now I appreciate that sous vide is a combination of temperature and time or duration, but the data make me think that around 4 hours would be sufficient, as per the seriouseats table. I have previously used the chefsteps 55-58 for their much longer advised times, up to 12 hours and the meat is still quite pink at the end, so I dont believe 55 for 12 hours would effectively be the same.
      From now on I will watching the internal temperatures with interest. This has always been the (relative) unkown for sous vide amateurs. 


    • By chefg
      I have to say designing the Alinea kitchen has been one of the most exciting experiences thus far in the opening of this restaurant. I have been fortunate to have been “raised” in some of the best kitchens in the country. When I arrived at the French Laundry in August 1996 the “new kitchen” had just been completed. Often times you would hear the man talk about the good old days of cooking on a residential range with only one refrigerator and warped out sauté pans with wiggly handles. When I started about 50% of the custom stainless steel was in place. The walls smooth with tile and carpet on the floors. I recall the feeling of anxiety when working for fear that I would dirty up the kitchen, not a common concern for most cooks in commercial kitchens.
      The French Laundry kitchen didn’t stop, it continued to evolve over the four years I was there. I vividly remember the addition of the custom fish/canapé stainless unit. Allowing the poissonier to keep his mise en place in beautiful 1/9 pan rails instead of the ice cube filled fish lugs. Each advancement in technology and ergonomics made the kitchen a more efficient and exacting machine.
      When I returned to the Laundry this past July for the 10th anniversary I was shocked that it had metomorphisized once again. The butcher room was now a sea of custom stainless steel low boys, the pot sink area was expanded, the walk-in moved, and an office added to the corner of the kitchen. The kitchen as I left it in June of 2001 was beautiful and extremely functional, of course it is even more so now. It is the relentless pursuit of detail and concise thought that allows the French Laundry kitchen to be one of the best for cooks to execute their craft…..16 hours a day.
      This was good motivation.
      When it came time to design my kitchen I drew on experiences at Trio, TFL and other kitchens I was familiar with to define the positives and negatives of those designs. We were faced with a 21x 44' rectangle. This space would not allow for my original kitchen design idea of four islands postioned throughout the kitchen, but ultimately gave way for the current design which I think is actually better than the original. But most the important aspect in shaping the final design was the cuisine. Due to the nature of food that we produce a typical layout with common equipment standards and dimensions do not work. Here is where the team drew on our experiences from Trio. By looking at the techniques we utilized we came to several conclusions.
      1. A conventional range was not our main heat source. We do need the flat tops and some open burners for applications such as braising and limited stock work. But our overall use of this piece of equipment is somewhat low. Given that we wanted four open burners and two flat tops with two ovens I began to source out a reliable unit. We settled on the Molteni G230.

      2. Upon analyzing our other heat source needs we decided to place a large focus on induction. By utilizing portable induction burners we are allowed the flexibility to give as much power as needed to a specific station in the kitchen. Obviously induction’s radiant heat is very low, and this allows us to keep the temperature in the kitchen reasonable, yet the power is quite high. 31,000 BTU's of highly controlable heat. But the main reason for choosing this flexible source of heat is the fact that each chef typically employed at least four different cooking applications on a given night. This huge flux in technique and the realization that the menu would change entirely in 8 weeks time meant that we had to design a kitchen that could evolve on a nightly basis. And last, we are very specific with temperatures; induction makes it easier for us to hold a liquid at a predetermined temperature for long periods of time without fluctuation. They operate between 85 and 500 degrees farenheit. We did a great deal of research on the different producers of induction and favored Cooktek. The fact that they are the only U.S manufacturer of commercial induction cooking equipment and located in Chicago made the decision easier. Their innovative approach to induction may prove to be even more exciting as we are already talking about new product development in the future.

      3. a. The complexity of the presentations and a la minute plate-ups of the food require a great deal of surface area devoted to plating. This was one of the most critical factors in determining the basic shape of the kitchen. The size of some of today's popular plates, the amount detail in each composition, coupled with the fact that producing tasting menus vs. ala carte means sometimes large waves of same dish pick ups made it necessary for us to have over 44' of linear plating surface.
      b. Virtually nothing goes vertical above the 36” counter top in the space. All food, plates, equipment, and dry good storage are contained by under counter units. There are a few exceptions such as the infrared salamanders, the three-door refrigerator, and the hood. This allows all the cooks a clear line of communication between each other and the front staff. It allows me an easy sight line to survey the entire kitchen’s progress with a quick glance.
      Given these two points it seemed obvious that we needed to combine the two and create custom pieces that would fulfill both needs. Large spans of plating surfaces with all food and equipment storage below. As you can see we ended up with two 22’ long units. Each function as a pass and under counter storage.
      The building is 21’ wide wall to wall. This allowed us just enough space to create two lines on each exterior wall with their passes forming a 60” corridor for the pick up of plates and finishing of dishes.
      4. We decided to add a station to the kitchen. At Trio we had five including:
      a. pastry
      b. cold garde manger
      c. hot garde manger
      d. fish
      e. meat
      Now that we had more space, and the ability to give each station multiple heat
      sources regardless of their location in the kitchen, we could spread the workload even further. We also realized it doesn’t make much sense to identify each station by classic French Bragade terms. A saucier did not solely cook meat with classic techniques and prepare various traditional stocks and sauces…in fact quite the opposite. This holds true with most of the stations, with the exception of pastry, but even they will have very unconventional techniques, menu placement and involvement in the kitchen systems. We will add a station that will be responsible for a large majority of the one-bite courses both sweet and savory.
      5.Given the size constraints of the building we realized a walk-in would not be possible in the kitchen. If we were to have one it would be in the basement. Having experienced this at Trio we decided to design the kitchen without a walk-in, making up for the space in various lowboy locations and a three-door reach-in. I experienced the walk-in less environment when I worked at Charlie Trotter’s. It is certainly different, but as with most things if done properly it provides a very efficient environment. It works best in situations where fresh products are brought in daily for that days use. And prevents ordering in large quantities. It also provides us with very specific units to house different items. We will utilize the 3-door refrigerator to store the majority of the vegetables and herbs along with some staple mise en place, and items that cannot be made in very small quantities like stocks. Raw meat will have it’s own lowboys as well as fish, dairy, and all frozen products.
      6. At Trio we found ourselves using the salamander a great deal. It is very useful for melting sugar, bringing on transparent qualities in things like fat and cheese, cooking items intensely on only one side, and it is a highly controllable non-direct heat source. Due to the air gap between the foodstuff and the heat elements the cook can control the degree of heat applied to the dish based on the technique he is using. It becomes a very versatile tool in the modern kitchen, so much so that we will install three Sodir infrared salamanders.

      Again, this is to insure that all the cooks have access to all of the techniques in the kitchen. As I said before it is important for our cooks to be able to sauté, simmer, poach, fry, grill, salamander, and freeze at the same time and sometimes for the same dish.
      We have a few unusual pieces of equipment in the kitchen; the most is probably a centrifuge. A few months ago Nick and I were driving home from a design meeting and ended up talking about signature dishes and menu repetition. Of course the black truffle explosion came up and he asked if I would have it on the menu at Alinea. I replied a firm no, but shortly thereafter said I would enjoy updating it. We threw around some tongue and cheek ideas like White Truffle Implosion, and Truffle Explosion 2005….I said it was a goal of mine to make a frozen ball with a liquid center….but then dismissed it as nearly impossible. Within a few minutes he said …”I got it…we need a centrifuge” His explanation was simple, place the desired liquid in a spherical mold and place on the centrifuge…place the whole thing in the freezer. Within days he had one in the test kitchen. I guess this is better suited for the kitchen lab topic that we will be starting in a few weeks…
      We are working on a upload of the kitchen blueprints. When those post I plan on going into more detail about certian aspects of the design. Doing so now would be pointless as the viewer does not have a reference point.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...